Huria > Vanora > Naomi



This photo ex Williamson Family Collection, recently popped up on fb and thanks to Harold Kidd we now know a lot more about the vessel.

She was built as – Huria in Jan. 1899 by Logan Bros. for Capt. Mercer of Nelson with a 2 cyl Daimler engine.
She was bought by MA Jenny in1905 and re-named – Vanora. Jenny re-engined her with a 30hp Gardner. Lindsay Cooke (Auckland) bought her in 1906. The NZ Government bought her in 1914 and based her in Tauranga. She got renamed – Naomi, probably because Jenny had owned a succession of Naomis. As Vanora, she took part in the Rudder Cup race in 1908.          
Interested to hear what others think re the year of the above photo -there are some very ’sad’ apparel on display. The gent in the yellow budgie smugglers would have to win the prize for the most outrageous  kit.
Sadly as we see in the photo below, ex Daniel HIcks fb, Naomi has not travelled well over the years and now languishes on the hard at Whangateau. It’s the same woody but somewhere along the way, she has been let go.
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The 1905 Bailey & Lowe 40′ launch Kumi has appeared numerous times on WW but Nathan Herbert was recently poking around in the Auckland Library Heritage Collection section and came across the above photos attributed to Mr. and Mrs. MF Russ. National Publicity Studios; Riethmaier. Nathan asked me if I supported his belief that the boat featured was Kumi. A quick search in my WW files popped up an email (repeated at the bottom of this story) that Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford sent me back in August 2014, that made a reference to Kumi being used as a cray fish boat between 1955 and 1975 in Whangaroa, Northland, by a Mr Russ – so jack pot – its Kumi. Catch out the size of those cray fish.
Now if you know Haydon you would have to be surprised that he had communicated with me via email – in fact he told me I was the first person he had sent an email to 🙂 Haydon is a wonderful man, they broke the mould after he entered this world. Back in the summer of 2012 > 2013 Haydon undertook a 3 month circumnavigation of New Zealand in Kumi. This achievement was acknowledged in late 2013 by the NZ Classic Yacht Association awarding Haydon the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’. Below is a photo of Haydon accepting the award along with his father. A group of woodys motored out to welcome Haydon back into Auckland Harbour after the circumnavigation – he celebrated with a pint of ice cold beer.
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Haydon shared his story of the trip with CYA members at a special evening at the RNZYS and it was pure gold, good old school story telling at its best. Unfortunately no-one recorded it but prior to the evening I twisted Haydon’s (writing) arm to tell me about the trip, I typed this up and you can read it at the WW link below
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2018 Rudder Cup – Motor Boat Race – 60 + Classic Wooden Boat Photos


My Girl









Lady Crossley

2018 Rudder Cup – Motor Boat Race – 60 + Classic Wooden Boat Photos

Friday 14th December , was only the third time in one hundred & ten years that the Rudder Cup race has been run – previous dates were 1908. 2008 & now 2018. Always in December, always the same course to Sail Rock & back, always overnight & always 108 nm in distance.
The background to the race has been well documented on WW so I will not re-hash the details – WW search Rudder Cup for more details.
2018 saw 15 classic Woodys assembling on the start line in front of the RNZYS for the 7pm start. The fleet were joined by almost as many fellow woodys who gathered to see the fleet off. John Street fired a magnificent cannon (details of which will appear on WW at a later date) to start the race.
Conditions were overcast & a little damp but that did not stop the skippers & crew from putting on a stunning sight for the crowd assembled on the foreshore.
By North Head the fleet had established itself in terms of boat speed & positioning – the race is a sealed handicap event, with skippers not knowing their handicap until the prize giving. This year, technology via the PredictWind race tracker app, allowed skippers & shore based woodys the opportunity to view the position & speed of the boats in ‘real-time’. Helped make the hours slide by quicker.
I had a very comfortable race aboard Barbara & David Cooke’s sensational Salthouse motor-yacht Trinidad. The mix of vessel, company, catering & banter was perfect – a good time was had by all. Not a lot of sleep (zero for myself & the skipper), but when dawn came around we all had found our second wind, or maybe it was Brian Fulton’s scones topped with brandy butter 🙂
We ran a sweep onboard Trinidad as to our finish time & I won – only 10 seconds off my prediction of 12 hours / 40 minutes.
Results below – you will see that Trinny won her divisional prize, which made Captain Cooke a happy chap 🙂
VINTAGE DIVISION (1919-1949) – WAITANGI (note: no photos below of skipper Ian Cooke – as RNZYS commodore, Ian was attending another function)
Todays photo gallery of the race, comes to you via the camera’s of numerous woodys – thanks go out to Graeme Finch, Rod Marler, yours truely – Alan Houghton. Some are not any where near perfect – boat speed, sea conditions & a very long tele-lens are not a good mix if you are aiming for great photos.
I’m sure I’ll get sent more in the next few days, so will update when & if we get more. If any of the skippers want a copy of a photo – drop me an email at
I would like to thank the Rudder Cup Race Committee for pulling the event together, a huge amount of time & co-ordination goes into one of these events & with out the folks below, it would never have happened:
Jason Prew (Chair), Nathan Herbert, Barbara Cooke, David Cooke, Alan Houghton, Joyce Talbot (Wonder Woman), Chris Collins & Baden Pascoe.
I would also like to mention the support we received from the Classic Yacht Association committee in stepping forward & underwriting the event – a progressive move from the then new CYA Chairman, James Mortimer. Thank you James.
ENJOY – As always, click on photos to enlarge + I have been extra nice today & captioned most of the photos 😉
Photos below from the prize giving at the RNZYS on Saturday night – weather was perfect & the food VERY good- well done RNZYS team.
A few ‘tired’ eyes – most of these guys had been awake for 24+hrs 🙂

CYA Chairman James Mortimer + Brett Evans – Sterling – Winner 2018 Rudder Cup


Sterling Skipper & Winning Crew


CYA Chairman James Mortimer + David Cooke – Trinidad – Winner Classic Division


CYA Chairman James Mortimer + Iain Forsyth – Meola – Spot prize winner


Peter Boardman Skipper – Lady Margaret (D. Lang) Spot prize winner


Ferro Skipper – Dick Coughlan – Spot prize winner


Ronaki Skipper – Daniel Thomas – Spot prize winner


Korara Skipper – Anatole Perry – Spot prize winner

The Rudder Cup – A Celebration of Classic Launch Racing Dec 14>15 2018

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The Rudder Cup – A Celebration of Classic Launch Racing Dec 14>15 2018

Now woodys, if I had $10 for everything woody launch owner that has told me they are entering the 2018 Rudder Cup launch race, I would be a wealthy man.
But guys, we are very fast approaching the stump up or shut up stage – entries close on 23 November, so if your going to be on the start line, we need to hear from you.
Remember entry is by invitation, so send an email off to Jason Prew at
& he will send you an invitation, entry forms, notice of race etc etc.
Numbers are looking good & the standard of entrant is very broad – its not just the zoom zoomers that are entering, & in case you forgot its a handicapped race, so everyone has an fair chance of taking out the #1 prize.
If you would like to read more on the history of the Rudder Cup,  click the WW link below. Also Harold Kidd has just published an article on the 2018 race in the November edition of Boating NZ magazine – it is titled ‘Old donks, young hearts’ & is a great read – its out now in good bookshops & supermarkets.

Thanks for all the kind words & emails yesterday – I couldn’t do it with out your help 🙂
CYA Rudder Cup 2018 flyer




Maroro (leading)

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photos & details ex Harold Kidd & Alan H

This story starts in 1907 when an Auckland family (Matheson brothers) built in St Marys Bay on Aucklands waterfront a 32 ft launch MARORO (flying fish in Maori). Her plans came from the USA Rudder Magazine and she was therefore rather unusual in design in the local New Zealand context. Maroro has a great history but her claim to fame was she won the  Rudder Cup, a night race around Sail Rock & back, held on the 12th December 1908.

Fast forward 100+ years (August 2009) & Harold Kidd, Colin Pawson & myself flew to Great Barrier Island to check out Maroro where she was ‘resting’ at Okupa in Blind Bay, you can view photos from that trip on this link

Maroro was subsequently transported back to Auckland & is now resting again at Marco Scuderi’s yard in Helensville, while her fate is decided. You will see in the Great Barrier photos she was / is as they say in the real estate game – a little distressed. There are lots of posting on the Classic Yacht Association NZ forum on Maroro if you are interested

The purpose of this waitematawoodys posting is to reveal that at long last the original plans for Maroro have been tracked down by super sleuth Harold Kidd, who obtained a copy of the August 1906 edition of the Rudder magazine off Ebay. Featured were the basic layout /plans of a motor launch named Susie. She was 3rd in the Knickerbocker YC long distance power boat ocean race in June 1906, the 2boats that finished ahead of her were much bigger & more powerful. When you compare the photos of Maroro & Susie , disregard the cabin top & focus on the bow & stern, they are almost identical. It would appear that the Matheson brothers were impressed with Susie’s performance in the Knickerbocker race & built a clone.

The above photos include a shot of Susie , the plans, a photo of Maroro winning a race on the Waitemata Harbour & a rather spectacular close up shot of Maroro. What do you think – peas in a pod? (you can freeze the slideshow by clicking on a photo)

Note: the discovery of these layout / plans could help decide the future of Maroro.

Centennial Rudder Cup Winner

Raindance the floating head office for waitematawoodys picked up another shiny thing at the CYA prize giving last night. Will sit nicely alongside the Motor Launch Trophy won last year.
This year Raindance collected the Centennial Rudder Cup, the trophy donated by Pauline & Harold Kidd to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rudder Cup Race, one of the most significant events in our motor launch history.
Special mention should be made to my boat boy Simon Yates.




Maroro – built in 1907 by the Matheson brothers at St Mary’s Bay for themselves. Her plans came from Rudder magazine and she was therefore rather unusual in design in the local context. For example she has a “spoon” bow and a vee transom. She gained fame from being the winner of the RNZYS Rudder Cup Ocean Race of 1908. A foray was made to Great Barrier on Saturday 22nd August 2009 by Colin Pawson, Alan Houghton and Harold Kidd to inspect Maroro at Okupu and make decisions as to whether the launch was worthy and capable of restoration and the logistics of doing so. The launch is in extraordinarily original condition. The only major additions to the hull are a very sensible dodger which was built on to her in 1920 by the Lane Motor Boat Co. and sponsons both sides.
Late 2009 Maroro was barged back to Auckland & is now in storage awaiting restoration.




Raindance in race mode, yeah right 🙂 during the running of the 2010 Rudder Cup , after stripping anything that was not bolted down off, draining the water tank, just enough fuel on board etc I only gained 0.25knts average speed.